Discussion on Willie Pep

Discussion in 'Boxing News and Discussion' started by Rebel, Oct 15, 2003.

  1. Rebel

    Rebel Admin

    I never saw these bouts but I've read that he quit in two of their fights. Anyone know if this is true?

    [ October 17, 2003, 05:55 PM: Message edited by: Rebel ]
  2. Popper

    Popper Guest

    Wasn't Pep rumored to have taken a few dives during his career??? It wasn't only against Saddler that the urban legends say that he threw the fight.
  3. Michael Matos

    Michael Matos Member

    He quit in the last one and he was trying to get out of it from the opening bell, continually fouling. He got stopped in their first encounter and got his eye sliced open in their third.
  4. TIP

    TIP Member

    It should be noted that Pep had very serious injuries incurred from a plane crash in late 1947. Doctors never expected him to fight again. Although still a high quality fighter Pep wasn't the same after the crash. TIP
  5. Rebel

    Rebel Admin

    I've always believed that Pep aficionados overstate the severity of the injuries to build up his legend. After the crash, he was in the ring 3-4 months later and from what I've read, he looked pretty darn good for the next 20 something fights before he ran into his conqueror, the great Sandy Saddler.

    If you're going to cling on to the theory that he wasn't the same after the crash, then you must rate him based on what he did prior to the crash. Give it a try. After looking his record over, you'll see a lot of good wins but nothing spectacular. He had several wins over Chalky Wright, a fellow HOFer, but so did Baby Arizmendi, a tough journeyman who held his own during that era.

    On the same token, Pep fans use his lone victory over Saddler as a measure of Pep's greatness. How can you not count his losses to Saddler yet give him credit for the lone win? I think it's just a case of some people trying to immortalize him. I rate a fighter by what he did in the ring. Pep was a great fighter but his legend is extremely overrated. Saddler had his number.

    [ October 17, 2003, 08:36 PM: Message edited by: Rebel ]
  6. Rebel

    Rebel Admin

    I moved this thread here since no one is visiting the other forums. *cough* *cough* :mad:
  7. TIP

    TIP Member

    Everything I've ever heard about Pep after the plane crash said he wasn't the same fighter. Several knowledgable old timers who saw Pep have told me that. Below is a piece written by John Garfield regarding Pep. Regards TIP

    The Willie Pep that I knew BEFORE he broke his back in that plane crash is the best pure boxer I?ve ever seen.

    After the crash, like a pitcher that?s throwing heat, and he?s overpowering everybody; he gets injured and loses 10 miles an hour on his fastball, and all of a sudden, people are starting to get to him.

    He looks the same; his motion?s the same and he gets by against good, quality talent, but against the elite, it?s a toss up.

    Pep was more than a step slower, and when you depend on guile, it?s fatal.

    Just thinking of Willie Pep brings a smile to my face; he was a floorshow every place he went.

    He wanted to laugh and would stop at nothing to break everybody else up. He always had all of us in the gym in stitches. He'd rib us and make us feel like he was just one of the boys. With his Graziano slouch and pork-pie hat, he was better able to carry that off goofing on a street corner but never in the ring.

    When Pep was at Stillman's, you could count on practical jokes and a florid Lou Stillman. But, he could do all of that because he was a dream in the ring. It was almost a religious experience watching him.

    But he took nothing serious. NOTHING. He came to the gym mostly, I think, to have a good time. It was like an extension of being at the track or playing cards.

    Pep never learned anything; it was all God given. His feet didn't touch the ground and he was all but invisible.

    And, that 's the Pep I'd always seen at the height of his career.

    After he hung up the gloves, briefly, he tried his hand at training.

    I was once was in the 5th St. Gym in Miami and Pep was in the corner of a big, beefy heavyweight.

    Pep was screaming at the heavyweight from the ring apron, and getting red in the face. This wasn't stand-up comic Willie: this was more like Vince Lombardi or Mike Ditka.

    When the round ended, Pep went berserk and attacked his own fighter. He was screaming at him, punching him, whipping him with his pork-pie hat, kicking him in shins; he had to be dragged off him.

    Pep just couldn't get it in his head that what he did, as natural as breathing, nobody else could.
  8. Rebel

    Rebel Admin

    Unfortunately, I cannot rank a fighter based on how great he might've been. A fighter must be ranked by how he faired in the ring while he competed in it, particularly during his prime. As I stated, Pep was still reeling off wins before and after he fought Saddler. Is it any coincidence that Saddler was the guy that finally beat him? Saddler wasn't a flash in the pan. He was a great little fighter himself and his dominance proved that.

    I hate to see Saddler's wins over Pep dimished by people who aim to immortalize Pep. I wonder if people were saying he wasn't the same prior to him losing to Saddler. I wish I were there to confirm this.

    It reminds of a story we've witnessed in the last fifteen years, the story of Mike Tyson. Some Tyson fans claim that he was the greatest heavyweight of all-time while his ring record displays a different tale. "Robbin Givens ruined him. Money ruined him. The death of his beloved trainer ruined him. Tyson 'could've' been the greatest of all-time." You can have all the potential in the world but if you don't show that potential on a consistent basis then this individual will merely judge you by what you did in your prime. Let twenty years pass and I guarantee you that many of the Tyson fans who cling to those theories, will immortalize him as if he were one of the greatest fighters of all-time. It wouldn't shock me to see some people rank him in the top five at heavyweight.

    Tracy Callis from I.B.R.O. finely stated, "However, the large bulk of this coverage is about contemporary pugilists with the result being that fans tend to exaggerate the skills of the fighters in their time in relation to those of other eras." It is my goal to not fall into this fallacy.

    [ October 19, 2003, 01:57 PM: Message edited by: Rebel ]
  9. BedtimeBear

    BedtimeBear Guest

    Is there existing film footage of Pep?

    Ive never seen him before.
  10. Crocodillo

    Crocodillo Guest

    you were just given an amazing peice of information and you just trashed it..you are truly biased rebs..i like you but truly biased
  11. Valentino

    Valentino Member

    I think he's been OBJECTIVE. Nothing wrong with that.
  12. Rebel

    Rebel Admin

    Instead of insulting me how about explaining to me why we shouldn't judge Pep based on what he did prior to the crash only. Why should I have to immortalize him and and overrate him based on the theory that he fought Saddler at 80% and everything he did after the crash is simply a testament to how great he was. Let's judge him by how he did prior to the crash that zapped some of his Superman powers.

    [ October 19, 2003, 12:10 PM: Message edited by: Rebel ]
  13. Rebel

    Rebel Admin

    Thank you. I'd rather he debate than insult me. His comments show that he brings nothing to the table here in this thread.
  14. I don't have the time at the moment, but Iook forward to changing both your's and Valentino's estimation of Pep, with reasons that, I think, you'll buy.
  15. Rebel

    Rebel Admin

    ESPN Classics have showed a few of his bouts in the past.
  16. Rebel

    Rebel Admin

    I look forward to it too. [​IMG]
  17. Valentino

    Valentino Member

    I rank Pep #1 Featherweight of all time.

    And number 4 all time great pound for pound (after Duran, Robinson, and Amstrong).

    I was only saying that regardless if I agree or disagree with Rebelz...that I respect the fact that he is trying to be objective.
  18. Michael Matos

    Michael Matos Member

    How about we forget the crash altogether. He started off his career with 63 straight victories, lost a decision to Hall Of Famer Sammy Angott and then reeled another 73 consecutive victories before facing Saddler. Barely 26 years old and a record of 135-1-1 give or take a victory. The question becomes whats to overrate? Yes he did lose to Saddler 3 out of 4 but you begin to lose something once you get up around 140 fights don't you think? Ray Robinson started to lose a little here or there after 130 fights,
  19. Rebel

    Rebel Admin

    Are you trying to tell me that Pep's level of opposition was comparable to Ray Robinson's after 140 fights?

    Sure, let's take a look at his record when he was at 135-1-1. People like to say that Julio Cesar Chavez fought a lot of Mexican cab drivers during his first 40-50 fights but the same can be said about Pep. Many of those victories were over nobodies on the East Coast circuit.

    I think you're way off on the Robinson comparison. Robinson's resume up to that point was incredible. I can't say the same for Pep. While the number of wins on his ledger are impressive, you must consider the quality of opposition that makes up those wins, in order to accurately assess his greatness and all-time ranking in the featherweight division.

    [ October 19, 2003, 08:52 PM: Message edited by: Rebel ]
  20. Michael Matos touched on much of the reason why Pep?s greatness can?t be exaggerated. Let me put a fine point to that: Pep had 230 wins in 240 fights, and for a guy who was a powder-puff puncher; he had 65 KO?s.

    He was the youngest man in 40 years to win the title, and when he lost to Angott, for the first time, it was at lightweight. Against the best featherweights in the world?and the names dot his record?he went 136-0.

    I just glanced at your latest post, and from the tone of it, you?re clearly digging your heels in refusing to accept any evidence, as if there?s a conspiracy of old schoolers to foist one of their own on you.

    I assure you Sal Bartolo, Chalky Wright, Ray Famechon, Pappy Gault, Armand Savoie, Manuel Ortiz, Lu Lu Constantino--to name a few-- were world class fighters.

    I couldn?t care less what era a fighter is from. If he?s good, he?s good. And, there?s been no better at feather than Saddler, Sanchez, Morales and Barrera. But, as a pure boxer, none of them can touch Pep.

    You single out Mike Tyson?s many problems as unacceptable for his diminishing skills?as just another athlete?s lame excuse for a downward slide.

    There was nothing lame about Pep?s broken back, leg an ankle. It was as real as his x-rays. And it affected him long term as surely as Gayle Sayer?s open-field running after his first knee surgery.

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